Eye on Washington – 2010 Congressional Visits Day

By Sharon Richardson

More than 270 scientists, engineers, and educators convened on Capitol Hill for the 15th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD) on April 28 and 29. Included in the group were 40 IEEE members from all over the country. Each year, the CVD participants visit members of Congress to tout the importance of consistent research and development (R&D) investments in science and technology (S&T), urge further investments in R&D and science education, and to thank Members of Congress for landmark legislation such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.

CVD occurs in the spring of each year.  If you would like to participate in 2011, please check in with your IEEE-USA Washington staff early next year for more information.

Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE)

The 2010 WISE Interns  have been selected and began their summer program on Monday, 7 June 2010.  The IEEE interns are Christi Chin from Brown University and Levi Lyons from the University of Kansas. Each year, outstanding engineering students are selected to spend nine weeks in Washington, D.C., learning about the public policy process, including how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.  The WISE Program is ranked as one of the best Internship opportunities in the U.S. by the Princeton Review. To find out more about the WISE Internship, go to

Meet the 2010 IEEE-USA Government Fellows

Each year, IEEE-USA sponsors three government fellowships for qualified IEEE members.  The fellows spend a year in Washington serving as advisers to the U.S. Congress and to key U.S. Department of State decision-makers. Known as either a Congressional Fellowship or an Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowship, this program links engineers with government, providing a mechanism for IEEE’s U.S. members to learn firsthand about the public policy process.  The 2010 Congressional Fellows are: Dr. John “Jack” Cederquist, Senior Member from Ann Arbor, MI and  Dr. L. Jean Camp, Senior Member from Bloomington, IN. The 2010 State Department Fellow is Dr. Norman Lerner, Life Member from Arlington, VA. You can read more about the Fellows and the Government Fellowship Program at

Public Policy Communications Made By IEEE-USA

The IEEE-USA and other organizational units with IEEE give testimonies, submit statements for the record of congressional hearings, provide formal comments in response to public or regulatory notices, send letters to Federal policy makers forwarding recommendations on public policy issues, and Legislative Alerts and similar notices of related government relations activities. Below are some of the current public policy communications made on behalf of IEEE-USA:

2 June 2010 Letter to Senator Patty Murray (and other members of the Congressional Aerospace Caucus) offering IEEE-USA’s support and assistance.
26 May 2010 Letter to Senators Snowe, Kaufman and Warner supporting the FCC Commissioners’ Technical Resource Enhancement Act (S.2881)
19 May 2010 Letter to House of Representatives urging approval of the revised America COMPETES Act (H.R. 5325) on remittal from the House Science and Technology Committee.
19 May 2010 Coalition letter (Task Force on American innovation) to key House/Senate leaders supporting reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act as a bipartisan measure.
12 May 2010 Coalition Letter (Engineering Societies) to Reps. Gordon and Hall supporting America COMPETES Act on eve of committee mark-up.
11 May 2010 Letter to the U.S. House urging reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 5116).
6 May 2010 Letter to FCC and NTIA offer suggestions to improve spectrum allocation decisions related to “harmful interference”.


Smart Grid Technologies Conference

One of the IEEE-USA’s public policy priorities this year is to help build a stronger and smarter electric energy infrastructure (Smart Grid) including an expansion transmission system. You can find out more about Smart Grid Technologies at the IEEE’s first International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, October 4-6 at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) or by contacting IEEE-USA’s Senior Legislative Representative, Bill Williams at .

Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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